Summary: A balanced look a the Bible and its meaning for man.
Title: The Word of God
Text: Multi-texted Topical
Introduction: I hold in my hand – the inspired word of God – It is the inerrant word of God – It is the complete word of God – It is all the truth I need – It is all-sufficient for life – It is my road map to heaven.
**Written by about 40 different holy inspired writers, over a period of almost 2000 years, Not one contradiction. There is one theme: The Old Testament points to Jesus. The News Testament points to Jesus. God’s plan to save man
1. How do you view the scriptures?
a. A Rule Book: Are there rules? YES! Should they be followed? YES
i. The problem here is that having such a narrow view of the scriptures takes out the heart of and emotion in the scriptures.
(1) Jesus becomes a rule maker instead of a Savior.
(2) The apostles become tape recorders of the Holy Spirit and not men of God.
(3) The church is reduced to a rules making institution.
b. A Story Book: Is there a story to tell? YES! Should we learn the “story.” YES!
i. The problem here is the opposite extreme of the “rule book mentality.”
(1) Jesus becomes a fairy tale instead of the master teacher.
(2) The apostles become actors in a Disney-like play.
(3) The church and all we believe becomes an emotional high or a myth.
c. A Balanced View of the Bible: There is a story that must be told and rules to obey!
i. We are people of extremes it’s all one way or another. This is not true
(1) The Bible is the inspired Word of God written by human men.
(a) 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NCV) "Most of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in the Scriptures ever comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 No prophecy ever came from what a person wanted to say, but people led by the Holy Spirit spoke words from God."
(i) The words spoken by men were from God. I believe the same to be true of the written word.
(2) The Bible claims inspiration “God breathed”
(a) 2 Timothy 3:16 (NCV) "All Scripture is given by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right."
(i) Given by God translated literally means “from God’s own breath.”
(ii) By faith we believe the Bible to be spoken directly from God’s own mind.
**I know what you are thinking: “Keith, you are preaching to the church here. We all believe the bible to be true. We know it’s from God. Why preach this to us?”
2. Challenges to the word of God.
a. The continuing disregard for Godly things in our world.
i. We may believe that, but there is a great movement in our society against godly things.
(1) People disregard the things of Christianity.
(a) 2 Timothy 4:3 (NCV) "because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear."
(i) Never in my lifetime has this scripture been more fulfilled.
1) In the Church: people on two extremes
a) Who either are ready to give up the basic tenants of the Scriptures even baptism for the remission of sins and the principle of male spiritual leadership.
b) Or those who hang on to church traditions so much that they get concerned that we are leaving the truth if we want to change the order of worship.
2) In the World: Do you want to get laughed at and ridiculed, just tell someone that “...the Bible says....”
(2) Lazy Christians. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NCV) "Make every effort to give yourself to God as the kind of person he will accept. Be a worker who is not ashamed and who uses the true teaching in the right way."
(a) When are we going to get back to Bible study?
(b) When are we going to begin to teach what the Bible says to our friends and neighbors and not what we feel?
3. Back to the bible.
Hammers and Anvils
I paused last eve beside the blacksmith’s door.
And heard the anvil ring, the vesper’s chime.
And looking in I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had?” said I.
To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” he answered. Then with twinkling eye:
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, I thought, the anvil of God’s word
For ages skeptic’s blows have beat upon
But though the noise of falling hammers were heard
The anvil is unchanged: the hammers gone.
– John Clifford, D.D.